Transfer news: Gareth Bale may play in Tottenham friendly this week amid talks over £80m switch to Real Madrid
The Wales international is keen to move to the Bernabeu
The Tottenham Hotspur manager, Andre Villas-Boas, has arranged a behind-closed-doors friendly for his first team at the club's training ground on Thursday against a non-League opponent which could yet give Gareth Bale the chance to play as he waits for Real Madrid to make a decisive move over his future.
The Spurs first team squad players have been given two days off after returning from Hong Kong on Monday but are back in training today. A Spurs XI will play against MK Dons in Milton Keynes today although it is not expected that Bale will feature in that match.
The 24-year-old had a glute injury during Spurs’ stay in Hong Kong for the Premier League Asia Trophy, which prevented him from playing but he is understood to be keen to get some match-time, in spite of the uncertainty over his future. The player himself has made it clear that he would like Spurs to agree a price with Madrid to facilitate a move.
The first-team game tomorrow is against a non-league opponent at Spurs’ training ground in Enfield. Bale has not played for Spurs since the friendly against Swindon Town on 16 July.
The player and his advisors have made it clear to the club that they want the move to Madrid to happen this summer. It is the expectation at the club that only a world-record breaking transfer of more than £80m will be acceptable to chairman Daniel Levy who is now back in Miami on holiday having been in London briefly at the weekend.
In the meantime, Madrid’s famous players past and present have lined up to endorse the club’s move for the Spurs winger. Zinedine Zidane, now an assistant to coach Carlo Ancelotti said in Los Angeles, where the club are currently based on tour, that the chance to play for Madrid came along “once in a lifetime”.
Zidane said: “It is not unusual when a player knows that Real Madrid are interested in them that they get excited. There is nothing more prestigious for a player to wear the white of Real Madrid.
“If he has expressed a desire to join Madrid then Tottenham should give him permission to speak with us. The chance to play for Real Madrid might only come around once in a player's lifetime - and it is understandable that Gareth doesn't want to miss out on it.
“This is modern football - you have to pay to get the best players in Europe. Last season Gareth was on the same level as Ronaldo and Messi. The best players can have not so great games - but change a game with a moment of brilliance. Those are the sort of players that win you Champions League's and League titles.
“He is already one of the finest player in Europe and he has everything needed to become the best player in the world. It is a bit of a cliche - but it is true you become a better player playing with better players.”
The goalkeeper Iker Casillas said that Bale was “one of the top three or four best players in Europe”. He said: “It's normal that his name is being discussed because he has all the qualities a footballer needs.”
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food